This is a stunning big china service plate, from the Delaware & Hudson Railroad in its striking "Adirondack" pattern.
The plate is a full 10.5 inches across, with a sparkling gold ring around the inside edge of its wide flat rim. The scalloped outer rim is decorated with a turquoise band. The railway's script "the D&H" logo is crisp at the top, above incredibly detailed center artwork depicting a canal boat -- depicting the D&H's earliest days as the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company & Gravity Railroad, built to transport coal to canal boats -- and a diesel locomotive from the mid-1900s, colorful in blue, silver and gold, hauling freight and passengers. At the six-o'clock position is the Great Seal of the State of New York.
CONDITION is as close to mint as not-new china can be. Service plates were not used for eating; rather, they adorned the table, greeting diners as they were seated. They were then whisked away by waiters who would bring the first course of the meal. There are NO cracks, chips, flakes or repairs.
This plate is correctly bottom marked by Syracuse China, with no railroad marking. It is date coded 3J (October 1974). This date is correct. "Adirondack" has the distinction of being among the last china (if not the last) ordered by any US railroad for passenger service.
BACKGROUND: (Much more is available in online encyclopedia "Wikipedia") The D&H began as the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company, chartered in 1823 in New York and Pennsylvania. It built a system of canals initially to carry coal. To move the coal from mines, a rail line was built and in 1829 the company made history when its first steam locomotive, "The Stourbridge Lion" became the first locomotive to run on rails in the United States. Looking to expand in the future, the word "Canal" was dropped from the name in 1898, and " Delaware & Hudson Company" became the official name. At that point, the D&H got out of the canal business.
After several decades of expansion and purchasing other railway lines, the D&H in 1928 again changed its name, to "Delaware & Hudson Railroad."
As the D&H RR, it operated for many years until 1968, when it was reorganized as the Delaware & Hudson Railway. After being bought and run by several other roads in the 1970s and 1980s, transfers and a bankruptcy the D&H in 1984 was purchased by the Guilford Rail System as part of a plan to operate a larger regional railroad from Maine and New Brunswick in the east, to New York City and the Midwest in the west, Montreal in the north, and the Philadelphia/Washington, D.C. area in the south. This never came to fruition and Guilford abandoned the D&H, declaring it bankrupt in 1988. Finally, in 1991, the Canadian Pacific Railway purchased the D&H to give the transcontinental system a connection between Montreal and the New York City metropolitan area. The D&H Railway is operating today in the northeastern United States, as a subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific.
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